International Day Of Persons With Disabilities

03 Dec 2020

Today marks the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. It is a day to celebrate the lives of people living with disabilities, empowering people to acknowledge and embrace their identity as a person living with a disability. Very often, disability is seen to be negative, as it is assumed that the person is disadvantaged to some extent. However, most of the time, the biggest disadvantage is that exact misconception.

Not being able to do things in the typical way means that people with disabilities have to develop alternative strategies. These strategies may involve developing skills such as creative thinking and 2020 has been a challenging a year, and it has forced everybody to be more innovative and flexible, something that is natural for people living with disability. This year has removed a lot of people’s freedoms, specifically the freedom to go where you want to go. Unfortunately, this is a freedom, which is constantly being fought for, by those living with disabilities. From accessing buildings in walkers and wheelchairs, to accessing education and employment, to receiving the right support, every day: people with disabilities have to fight for their freedoms, a fight which is now being shared to a certain extent by the whole world.

The theme of International Day of Persons with Disabilities changes annually and this year’s theme is “Building Back Better: toward a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19 World.” The United Nations believe 2020 has deepened the pre-existing inequalities faced by those living with disabilities but the world has an opportunity to become more inclusive as we recover and rebuild from this pandemic. However, this means that people with disabilities have to continue to remain vocal and and visible.

We are so fortunate to live in New Zealand, where we have spent minimal time in lockdowns compared to many other countries. New Zealanders have been encouraged to explore their own backyard to support tourism and to get out and about. People with Cerebral Palsy have also been getting in on the action. For example, Paul and Jimmy’s recent holiday in Rotorua. Check it out HERE . Meanwhile, Nikayla Wood went on an adventurous trip around the South Island. You can watch her adventure HERE.